I have a large Catholic family, and we believe in miracles, but none of us has ever seen one first hand until the past few months. August 11, 2003, my 18 year old nephew Josh, was visiting with some friends for the weekend about an hour or so away from home. About 3:30 am on Monday, Aug 11, 2003, my parent's dog started barking and woke them up. They saw police lights flashing in their driveway and when they opened the door, the police officer told them that Josh had been in an accident around 12 midnight and had been airlifted to Shock Trauma at University Hospital in Baltimore. They came to my parents house because that is where Josh lived. They had tried to call but my parents hadn't heard the phone. All the police officer knew was that it had been some sort of car accident. (Later we learned the statement his friend gave to police, said he was joking around and wouldn't Josh in his car, and he kept driving away from him. When Josh got hold of the door handle, his friend floored it and Josh got thrown back) My Mom called my nephew's Mom and then she called me, and I called my other 2 sisters, and my 87 year old grandmother, who called everyone else. We rushed to the hospital and learned the doctor told my sister he had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, and needed emergency surgery. Without it he would have died, with it he had a 50/50 chance. They had to remove half of his skull and literally move the brain back into position because it had been hit with such force it had twisted. A normal brain pressure is 0-15. Josh's was in the 40's. After his surgery, the neurosurgeon said it would be 6 months or more before he would wake up and even then he would most likely be a vegetable. He said Josh would have to learn how to do everything all over again. During the first week in the hospital, they said Josh had suffered a massive stroke and he would be blind. He had so many things hooked up to him: a tube to drain the blood and excess brain fluid, an ICP tube to measure brain pressure, IV's, they did a tracheotomy, he was on a ventilator, he was on barbituates to put him into a coma, he was on heart medication, to increase his heart rate to a level that would accomodate his brain pressure. He had a feeding tube run into his belly, a tube to give him fluids. When I first saw him, it was so frightening, he had blood in his ears, all that stuff hooked up to him, and 68 metal staples holding his head closed, from where they took out the skull. His pressure went up and down, he had pneumonia in one lung. Our family prayed so much, I made a web site for my nephew, asking for people to pray, and it was on line for just a few weeks, and it had over 1500 hits, and over 160 people wrote messages of inspiration to him. Even people from Europe wrote in it. I had called the police department who was investigating the accident and the officer I spoke with was there the night of the accident, and had seen Josh. He said "he is still alive?" We found out that Josh, right after his fall, was clinically dead for a few minutes and he remembers. He said he remembers laying there, hearing people talk, and it got quiet, and then he saw Jesus, and he smiled and said hi to him. Josh was in Shock Trauma for less than a month. Then he went to rehab where he was for another month. He came home on October 8, 2003. He can see, and he went to the eye doctors where he was told his vision is 20/20. He is walking, talking up a storm, laughing and joking, he uses the computer, he remembers alot, which they said he wouldn't. He went back to University yesterday for a checkup, and Josh got up and walked into the office. His neurosurgeon said "Josh, you can see?" and the other doctor said "his vision is 20/20". Josh's mom smiled and asked "you're suprised he can see?" The doctor said "Doctors have been talking about Josh, we're suprised he is even alive". Josh had suffered one of the worst brain injuries a person could suffer. When the other doctor asked "do you think we operated in the nick of time?" the neurosurgeon said "no, there is no medical reason for him to be alive". My grandfather (on my dad's side) passed away years ago, but one night after they said Josh had a stroke, my dad had a very realistic dream, that he was standing by Josh's hospital bed, and my dad's sister came around the corner and said "I brought a visitor" and it was my grandfather. He walked over to Josh's bed and rubbed his arm and said "you're gonna be just fine, Josh". My dad said the dream was so real. He actually woke up calling for his father, and he died in '89. Recent MRI's and CT scans show that Josh never suffered any strokes. Josh had absolutely every odd against him. It is nothing short of a miracle that he is here. Josh is very grateful, and he is so happy to be alive. He is a miracle, and I am so proud of him.
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